4 out of 5 stars
The Hateful Eight is 187 mins of Tarantino’s quick-fire and witted verbiage where the narrative detours irreverently and often unpredictably into more layers of stories but never a dull phrase spoken. The first half sets the scene and personal connections between the characters and then it is on to the no-holds barred Grand Guignol style second half which is hilarious, extremely violent and deeply satisfying all at once. Every character gets his or her moment and the ensemble seems to be thoroughly enjoying the chance to show off their acting (or even over-acting) abilities but it is first and foremost Tarantino’s film. For it is his flair in directing and stylish writing together with the sumptuous and immaculately composed cinematography and his rousing yet atmospheric choice of aural accompaniment with the help of Ennio Morricone that makes the film so damn fucking cool and exciting to watch. Yes, there are indulgences in both the film’s length (a more judicious editor could take 30 mins off the first half perhaps) and the racist/sexist liberties taken here (justifiable perhaps in a detailed argument but this is not the place to go into here) but it remains a tight and exhilarating film, especially in the 2nd half where there is not an ounce of fat; and the truth is those 3hrs+ fly by as if it was no more than 100 mins. Quintessentially Tarantino.